What is an injunction?
A prohibitory injunction is an order from the Court to stop doing something. On the contrary, a mandatory injunction is an order forcing someone to do something. Breaching these orders may result in being sent to prison for breach as contempt of Court.
To obtain an injunction, the Court must be satisfied with a number of things and must be provided with evidence to support the case.
Here’s an example of an injunction from Sanders Witherspoon solicitors.
Application for an injunction
The application for an injunction can be made before or after Court proceedings, it can be granted by the Court before the Court proceedings if the matter is:
- urgent; or
- in the interest of justice (for example, if there is a real risk that funds will be dissipated or evidence will be destroyed).
“Interlocutory” or “interim” injunction is an injunction made before a case proceeds to trial which can be expressed to remain in force for a particular time. If not, it remains in force until the matter comes to trial or the Court makes any further order.
The Court, then, will primarily decide whether or not to make a “final” injunction once the case comes to trial.
Grounds for an application for an injunction
Here are some examples of grounds for an application for an injunction:
- Entering or staying on someone’s land without their permission.
- Blocking highway.
- Trying to stop from going to work.
- Publishing untruthful derogatory statements.
Types of injunction
Civil injunctions are less serious but people who violate this injunction can be found to be in contempt of Court, which is a criminal offence. This injunction does not give power to a police officer to arrest or prosecute anyone.
For a company to enforce the civil injunction, it must be ready with the details of those who breached them and notify the Court. The Court, then, will summon the protesters for a hearing. During the hearing, the protesters can argue that they were not aware of the injunction, or that it does not apply to them.
Protection from Harassment Act injunctions (PfHA injunctions)
Protection from Harassment Act injunctions (PfHA injunctions) is issued under Protection from Harassment Act 1999. Compared to civil injunction, it is more serious and it can give power to a police officer to arrest defendants who committed an offence of Breach of Injunction.
Remember that you can be fined or be imprisoned by breaching an injunction. The police, on the other hand, must still consider the protections within the Act before making an arrest.